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  • Published in Opinion
Quim Arrufat, a leading figure of the radical left, pro-independence CUP. Photo: Jack Hazeldine

Quim Arrufat, a leading figure of the radical left, pro-independence CUP. Photo: Jack Hazeldine

Covering the independence struggle in Catalonia from the ground, Jack Hazeldine interviewed a leading figure of what looks to be the fifth party at Thursday’s elections, the anticapitalist CUP

Quim Arrufat is a major figure on the Catalan left: a former Catalan Parliament MP and now leading activist for the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) anticapitalist pro-independence party. The party is currently predicted to receive at least 8 percent of the vote at Thursday’s elections, and has an important role in the movement on the streets, building the network of local Republic Defence Committees.

We met him on Wednesday 13 December following the CUP’s election rally in his home town of Vilanova i la Geltrú (where he still lives) at the local ‘ateneu’ - one of many left independentist activity hubs fostered by the CUP.  They serve as workshops, meeting venues, bars, and social centres, scattered across cities and towns in Catalonia. The rally was attended by hundreds and featured Quim as a headline speaker (photo above).

The 4-part video interview ranges through a variety of questions: nationalism and democratic sovereignty; the CUP’s vision for a “new frame of democratic, civil and labour rights” in a Catalan Republic; the deeply repressive nature of the Spanish state; the “insecurity” of austerity; and the need for people to be self-organised - for “class organisation” - with solidarity beyond borders.

Quim calls the Catalan independence struggle “one of the most progressive democratic fights in Europe.”

Jack Hazeldine

Jack Hazeldine

Jack Hazeldine is an organiser in the People's Assembly and Stop the War.

Based in Bristol, he has coordinated the largest demonstrations and public meetings in the city in recent years: against austerity, in support of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of Labour, over the Junior Doctors' struggle and against the British bombing of Syria. He is currently travelling between the UK and Catalonia, building the solidarity campaign and corresponding on events.  

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